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MARKET GARDENING INTERNSHIPS 2020

Position: Market Gardening Intern / Stagiaire en production maraîchère
Type: includes lodging, meals, stipend, more (see below)
Farm/Garden: Groundhog Gardens / Les Jardins de la Marmotte

Location: Potton, near Sutton & Magog / Eastern Townships, Quebec
Housing: lodging is included
Dates: May 4 – Nov 6, 2020 (27 weeks)

About Groundhog Gardens

Groundhog Gardens is small-scale, ecological vegetable farm located in Potton Township, Quebec, on the border with Vermont and 2 hours from Montreal. We grow over 30 different vegetables and herbs for direct sale to consumers at the Mansonville Public Market, to three restaurants and one independent grocer, and via a 30-member CSA program in the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal.

Our agricultural approach is based on the low-till, bio-intensive growing methods developed by 19th Parisian market gardeners and practiced today by organic growers including Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches in Quebec and Eliot Coleman in the US. We are minimally mechanized, using only a BCS (two-wheel tractor) and many hand-tools, with occasional help from our neighbors with heavy machinery.

In 2020 we will be growing on 2/3 of an acre of sandy, gravelly loam located on a slight plateau in the truly stunning Missisquoi River valley (Abenaki territory).

David Whiteside is the owner and manager of Groundhog Gardens. David is passionate about building a resilient and diverse local food system. He has four years of experience on organic farms in Québec, including a full season at Les Jardins de la Grelinette à Saint-Armand where he learned the bio-intensive growing techniques that he uses at Groundhog Gardens.

David worked for Abbondanza Farm, also in Potton, for two seasons, and is now taking over Abbondanza Farm’s salespoints as Gwynne, the owner of Abbondanza, moves toward retirement. He will continue to work closely with Gwynne and her team at Abbondanza Farm this season, as well as welcoming a rolling cast of friends and volunteers who will stay and help out on the farm.

Please note that I’m currently building the farm’s website — more information will be coming soon.


About the Market Gardening Internship

I am looking for a Market Gardening Intern.

This position is a full-time farm apprenticeship. You will be working 40 hours per week, from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. We take one hour off for lunch each day around noon and two 10-minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There is a possibility of helping out some or all Saturday mornings at the Mansonville Public Market as well if you are interested in the sales side of the farm.

We will meet every morning at 8am to plan the day’s tasks and check in about how things are going, and have brief check-ins after lunch every day to readjust priorities if necessary.

We will be working in both English and French depending on which language you are more comfortable in and who else is helping out at the farm at any given moment. Bilingualism is a big plus!

The position starts on May 4th and ends on November 6th (27 weeks).

I offer a $200 weekly stipend as well as lodging and all your meals.

You will have one week paid vacation during the season. Some long weekends can be negotiated based on availability of volunteers to replace you.

There will be a 2 week trial period, so each of us can determine if we can work well together.

While you and I will be the only full-time workers at the farm, as mentioned above many friends and volunteers will be coming to stay and work with us, and cultivating a fun and communal vibe is one of the main goals of the farm. You will be welcome to invite your own friends and family to come spend time on the farm as well.

As Market Gardening Intern with Groundhog Gardens, you will also be welcome to take part in the workshops and other educational opportunities of Abbondanza Farm, just up the road.

This position is ideal for someone who has minimal farming experience but a serious interest in agriculture—ideally a future farmer curious about bio-intensive growing!


What you will learn and how we work

You will have the opportunity to experience and learn about all aspects of vegetable production: starting transplants in the greenhouse, prepping beds, transplanting and direct seeding the crops, bio-intensive weed control and irrigation techniques, using a BCS, and of course harvesting and washing produce.

The Market Gardening Internship is a field work position: I need your help full-time completing the field work above all.

That said, I am very open to discussing all aspects of managing a farm business, including developing more formal trainings on things like finances or crop planning based on your interests. Depending on the time of year, these trainings would take place mainly on weekends, outside of work hours.


About you:

I am looking for someone who is available for the whole season and who

  • Has a serious interest in farming
  • Is open to learning
  • Has the physical ability to carry out farm tasks on a full-time basis
  • Enjoys meeting and communicating with people
  • Is good at working independently as well as in a team
  • Feels comfortable living and working with others
  • Is bilingual-- French and English (not required but an asset, especially if you want to help out at the market)
  • Has a valid driver’s license
  • Has previous farming or horticultural experience (not required but an asset)
  • Likes to laugh

One of the goals of the farm to create work opportunities for people who experience barriers to employment including recent immigrants, people of color, queer people, and any combination of the above.


To apply:

Please send a CV to davidnewhiteside@gmail.com along with a message that explains:

  • How this internship fits in with your future plans
  • Why you imagine working at Groundhog Gardens would meet your needs
  • Your previous agricultural experience
  • About any other specific skills you may have, including but not limited to: carpentry, plumbing, social media, musical instruments . . .
  • Any details about yourself I should know, including allergies, food preferences . . .

Only applicants whom I feel would be a good fit for the farm will be contacted for an interview.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jan 28 2020    ID: 55813